It’s hard to feel like you’re leaving nothing but footprints when travelling so we’ve compiled a list of 10 things that will help reduce waste, save money and make you feel all-round good about being a conscious roamer.
1. Bring a water bottle
Not only is it an incentive to stay hydrated, it means you won’t buy bottled water wherever you may be, saving you cash and sparing the environment that extra piece of plastic. I use MAIGG’s 1 litre waterbottle which is BPA-Free. It’s available on amazon for £14.59. Also for anyone who’s worried about drinking contaminated water, we recommend bringing water purification tablets.
2. Ladies, own a moon cup (or in my case a dutchess cup!)
If you’re blessed enough to be a menstruating woman you’ll know about the joys of that t.o.t.m when you’re travelling. It’s more or less a bloody nuisance (no pun intended) but there are ways of dealing with it in a less wasteful and more cost efficient way. I own two ‘moon cups’ from a brand called Dutchess cup. Make sure if you’ve never been pregnant to purchase the pre-pregnancy cups as they are a better fit. They’re also available on amazon, two for £17.99. #let’stalkaboutperiods #endthestigma #it’snatural.
3. Swap plastic bags in the store for your own
It’s pretty commonplace these days to bring your own bag at the supermarket, however a lot of countries have yet to implement charging for plastic bags. So, if you won’t do it at home, why do it in a foreign country? Bringing your own reusable shopping bag. Super portable ones are a good shout and they’ll only set you back a few quid. Oh and guys, I want to see you rock the polka dots.
4. Solar chargers
Now I’m going to ‘fess up and say that I don’t actually own one… yet. Either way solar powered chargers sound like a neat idea, especially if you’re trekking and don’t have access to electricity. There are a variety of different brands and price ranges according to your needs though if you’re on a budget you can get a dual charger for around £20-30 on amazon. Alternatively if you want to level up, this water-proof Voltaic Systems Amp will set you back £102.35. You’ll only want to buy one if necessary.
5. Reef-friendly sunblock or a swim-shirt
Oxybenzone in standard sunblocks is known to contribute to coral reef bleaching. Suncreams with titanium or zinc oxide lack this and are therefore considered an eco-friendly alternative. This UVA/UVA SPF30 sunscreen from Badger company seems pretty good and it’s available on amazon for £13.90. A sun shirt is also a good idea as it’s more protective than sunblock if you’re in the ocean.
6. Elephant pants!
This is more of an indulgent purchase for people who feel like it’s a necessity to sport ‘gap yah’ apparel. Instead of haggling for poorly-made harem pants in Thailand, you can buy Elephant pants where 10% of the proceeds are donated to the International Elephant Foundation. Their work includes habitat management and anti-poaching security measures.
7. Sturdy, leather-free hiking boots
Finding durable vegan shoes has always been considered near-impossible but thankfully I found these lightweight gore-tex hiking boots from Merrell. And as we all know, walking is a great alternative to transportation. Like any decent hiking boot however, it’s relatively pricey so I recommend going into a store and trying on shoes first. It’s also worth looking at various sites for price differences as I managed to get mine for 60% of the cost.
8. Paperblanks travel journal
If you’re looking for a decent travel journal, Paperblanks creates a variety of products made from 100% recycled material. Admittedly I’m more of a blogophile so I tend to record my musings online but I can vouch for the fact that these journals are great.
9. Dry shampoo for fuss-free days
It’s always recommended that you wash your hair every few days as opposed to everyday. Not only is this good for its health but the likelihood is you’re going to cut back on shower time. The negative upshot of this is that your hair might get a bit greasy. I use ‘No Drought’ dry shampoo from Lush which is an all-round great brand (100% vegan, no animal testing, amazing scents, natural ingredients etc.). A large bottle (115g) will set you back £7.25. I recommend this over the small bottle (50g) in terms of price per gram which costs £4.25. That being said, the small bottle is a lot more portable. Either way, it lasts for ages and it’s the best dry shampoo I’ve ever owned.
10. If you can, pack less!
Not only would it make travel a lot easier but it’s said that heavier luggage increases carbon emissions when travelling by plane. And as flying is already pretty taxing, it might help your conscience if you pack less. Oh and while we’re on the subject of flights, always opt for the veggie meal option beforehand!